Last Thursday, the school gathered to hear the story and songs of Colin Levin ’03. A professional opera singer and voice teacher, Levin filled the chapel with his voice, his story, and with his self-deprecating humor.
Levin framed his career as one started by chance, and then by determination. He began his musical career at CA as a pianist, and then, at a summer camp, discovered his voice. He joined the Chameleons and sang during his time at CA. Pursuing a career in opera singing, Levin spoke candidly about the challenges involved, sharing just how many auditions he attended before getting a job. With a smile, he recounted a story of how he worked at a Starbucks in Boston while singing opera at night.
With persistence and determination come rewards. Levin told a story about how one of his early breaks came as a last-minute replacement as Figaro and then, later, when he got a faculty position at Tanglewood — the job that enabled him to stop making coffee and sing full-time. During his talk, Levin interjected musical interludes, filling the chapel with his baritone voice, singing the pieces that marked significant milestones in his career. In doing so, he turned his biography into a musical — one that was both humorous and remarkable.
Since 2013, Levin has held both voice and music history faculty positions with the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He has appeared as a soloist in opera and concert in innumerable performances, both in the United States and internationally. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, with a double major in vocal performance and musicology, and a Master of Music degree at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign, which he attended on a full scholarship and fellowship. You can read more about Levin on his website, where you will also find audio and video clips of his performances.
On Thursday evening, after his assembly, Levin performed as a part of Mystical Songs: A Winter Chamber Music & Choral Concert.